A recent post focused on a list of questions buyers should answer about their wants and needs related to a home before they begin looking. The writer mentioned the huge number of properties to choose from and the absolute necessity of narrowing down your criteria before you can possibly find a home to concentrate on.
I certainly agree with this very professional post. However, I want to add a bit of wisdom that I've discovered over the years.
Buyers cannot possibly come up with a final lists of wants and needs until they have seen a few homes. The process of evaulating homes in person, as opposed to printed descriptions (either Internet or on paper), uncovers feelings and issues that you just don't get to unless you actually see the home.
My process involves taking a list of wants and needs and finding homes that match that list for the first tour. Of course, I let the buyer no that NO home will have everything on their list. I coach them on this fact early and often. I tell them that the purpose, the only purpose, of the first tour is to shake down that list.
After the tour, we go back to the drawing board and draw up a new list, which is always more focused. (When I was a new agent doing this, I wasn't surprised when items were dropped from the list. But I was shocked when new items appeared.)
With the revised list, the second tour is more on target. Then there comes the day when they find the house with everything... but there will always be an "everything EXCEPT."
That's when the professional agent guides the buyer through the problem solving process of what they really HAVE to have as opposed to what they can live without. What they COULD add or remove as opposed to what will always be there. For example, if you want a walk-out basement and the house doesn't have one, you're probably not ever giong to get it. But if you want a fireplace, you could possibly add one later.
Buying a home is a process, and helping buyers decide what their true wants and needs are is a process, too.